Ministers and Marriage


A great piece on the difference between civil and religious marriage from a clerical perspective.

Glass Overflowing

It is an odd relationship–the way ministers often act as agents of the state to sign civil marriage licenses. We can’t sign any other documents on behalf of the state. But hundreds of years ago, when marriages all (mostly) took place in churches, we entrenched the two acts–the act of the church in joining people in the covenant of sacred marriage and the act of the state in conferring civil rights and relationships to couples.

There has been plenty of fear ever since the Supreme Court ruled last week that marriage equality was the law of the land. Much of this fear has been promoted by fear mongerers, threatening to set themselves on fire (just kidding–I’m not kidding about this. He was. A minister said he would set himself on fire if the Supreme Court ruled as it did). And the fear mongerers are successfully ‘mongering’ a…

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